Kouts OKs agreement to move utility lines

2013-03-18T21:00:00Z Kouts OKs agreement to move utility linesBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

KOUTS | The Town Council on Monday approved an agreement with the state Department of Transportation to relocate Kouts' water and sewer lines on Ind. 8 for a culvert replacement project.

The agreement calls for Kouts to pay $5,624 of the total cost of $63,520 for the relocation. The town's share was calculated based on 10 percent of total operating revenue for the water and sewer utilities in 2012. The rest will be paid by the state.

The relocation is needed so INDOT can replace a culvert on the Benke drainage ditch about half mile west of Ind. 49 under Ind. 8.

Kouts had to prepare plans and specifications for the relocation and an estimate of the cost, and the state will do the relocation as part of the replacement project contract.

Town Attorney Robert Schwerd said Kouts' agreement with American Convenience Stores is signed by all parties and the town can proceed with finding a new site for a well to replace the one near the American Convenience Stores property at the northeast corner of Ind. 49 and Ind. 8.

The company plans to build a convenience store and gas station on the corner similar to the one owned by a different company that previously occupied the site about five years ago. The agreement calls for American Convenience Stores to pay for any costs not covered by the state for replacing the well.

The well is no longer used by the town, except in emergencies.

The state originally wanted the company to remove the contaminated soil from the underground gas tanks used by the previous business. The state allowed Kouts to work out a less costly solution involving replacing the well and letting the gasoline dissipate into the surrounding soil.

Schwerd said state grants might be available to pay for part of the new well costs, but the company will pay anything not covered by the state.

The town's only expense would be if it decides to upgrade the well by adding a backup generator or asking for a larger well.

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